Practical Technology

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Too Little, Too Late: The Feds call for IPv6


I had an interesting conversation with my Web-hosting company the other day. They told me that American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) has told them that they need to start restricting IPv4, ala Internet, addresses. The long-predicted IPv4 number drought effects are finally being felt.

Lucky us. That’s why I look with more than a little bit of cynicism at people declaring that Federal CIO Vivek Kundra issuing a memo (PDF Link) requiring all federal agencies to upgrade their public-facing Web services to native IPv6 by September 30, 2012 is a “Game Changer.” The game has already changed, and the Feds are two-steps behind.

Kundra’s memo also establishes a second deadline of September 30, 2014 for federal agencies to upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers to use native IPv6. All Federal agencies will also be required to designate an IPv6 transition manager to direct IPv6-related activities, and, of course, they must also have network hardware and software that complies with IPv6.

Sounds great. Where’s the money going to come from to make all that happen? It’s one thing to say we need to address a problem. Talk is cheap. It’s another thing entirely to actually do something about the problem.

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